Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
Paul does not consider here what we are to pray for; rather, we are commanded simply to pray, and to do so in all circumstances. Why then do we think so long and hard before we approach the Father? Why do we first try everything else that people suggest and go to all kinds of trouble before turning to God in prayer?
Can it be wrong to pray to the Savior when it is all right to be healed by men? Why should praying be considered a presumption when we are only doing what we have been commanded to do? Would it not be more presumptuous to resist a direct commandment of the Lord? Some fear that they might be freed from their present illness only to be smitten by a worse one. Does that mean the heavenly Father gives his children stones instead of bread, snakes instead of fish (Luke 11:12)? Others claim that suffering is necessary. True, but isn’t it also important to experience the help of the Lord? Isn’t help of more benefit for the heart than any suffering? Who has ever been converted through sheer pain?
Whatever the Lord wants – let us gladly accept what he gives us and bear what he does not want to take away. But let us pray. It is the Lord alone who must do the work. And he knows how much you can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). If he does not immediately answer your prayers, assume, as Paul learned, that his grace is sufficient for you. The main thing is to submit to the will of God. When you do this, it becomes easier, and gradually the Lord will lighten your burden.
Therefore, in a childlike spirit entrust everything to the Lord, so that he may do as he pleases. If you do this in all circumstances, you will find that this is the best way.
Johann Christoph Blumhardt